When Jim Houtman goes hunting for ducks, he often shoots birds with his camera, perfect poses and scenes. Look for. Inspire his next painting.
At his home in Chaska, Minnesota, Automan has painted dozens of ducks. Mandarin ducks, mallards, red-throated loons, and canvasbacks all appear on his canvas.
"They are just great birds," Jim said. "There are so many varieties, all of which have special colors. They are just great for me."
Especially two ducks, a pair of redheads drawn by Jim, will soon be known to all American duck hunters. Become.
Every year, anyone who wants to hunt migratory birds should buy what is called a "duck stamp". I have. Scenic stamps are permits, not postage. Under the supervision of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the program has raised over $ 1 billion for habitat conservation since it began in the 1930s.
Since 1949, stamp artwork has been selected in national contests. Automan won his first victory in 1989, when he was only 25 years old. The next day he flew to Washington to meet the president.
Correspondent Connor Knighton asked Jim, "How did that first victory change your life?"
"Completely," he replied. "After I win, I'll hang up, I couldn't walk 20 feet unless it rang again. It rang non-stop."
And his The phone keeps ringing. Hautman has won a record six times.
The man is an ordinary duck Da Vinci.
Knighton asked, "Who is particularly worried when thinking about competition?"
"Well, in my opinion, Joe and Bob are the biggest threats," he smiled.
It's Jim's brothers Joe and Bob Houtman. Joe has won the duck stamp contest five times:
Bob Houtman has won three times.
The brothers are known as the Duck Dynasty in the wildlife world. A self-taught son of a passionate hunter and a professional artist.
Bob said, "Our mom was our main critic. For example, whenever we have a problem, she tells you it. She was really good at teaching how to do and what to do. She enjoyed it so much. My dad did too. Because he was crazy about the whole duck stamp from the beginning. "
Joe is the maintainer of his late father's duck stamp collection, including the 1934 stamp. "He liked ducks and he liked images," he said. "So we learned what the duck stamp is."
Joe won his first contest in 1991, just two years after Jim's victory.
"There was actually a lot of distrust," Joe said. "Some people were going,'Hey, wait a minute, I drew it.' Some people thought Jim probably drew it and entered in my name."
However, each sibling has its own style. Chris Knutson, owner of the Art Barbarians Gallery in Rogers, Minnesota, said: It's a little in the middle.
Knutson's gallery sells Hautman's originals for thousands of dollars. They are best known for ducks, but the brothers draw everything from Blue Jay to Bison.
"I don't know of a family of other artists that can even be compared to these people," Knutson said.
The brothers grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis, right next to other famous brothers. The Coen brothers Joel and Ethan Coen lived on about seven doors on the street.
In the 1996 movie "Fargo", the husband of Officer Marge Gunderson was a duck painter, and the Coen brothers could not resist yelling at their old neighbors:
Norm Gunderson: "I found out that the Coen brothers are painting this year."
Marge Gunderson: "Oh, Hong, you're better than them."
Automan says they make each other better. They regularly convene to provide critique.
And while the stamp contest doesn't offer any prizes, it can still be very profitable. Winners can sell thousands of limited edition prints to enthusiastic collectors.
"People like ducks," Joe said. "They literally have a smile on their face. When you see, that is, their invoices disappear. They are a kind of friendly. They like all kinds of weather."
You can paint in various ways, such as underwater or in flight. Even after many successes, the challenge is to bring Automan back again.
Knighton asked, "Are there any ducks or scenes that have never been cracked?"
"All" Bob laughed.
Story Aria Shavelson Created by Editor: Ed Givenish.
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